This question comes up a lot with our clients and business connections within the business community.Sharpeningthesaw3

So, how do you think most people answer the question?

How would you answer the question about your business?

While it may not surprise you, a large majority of responses suggest that more business owners and sales professionals work IN their business, vs. ON their business.

The answer is concerning, but not too surprising!

As Business Owners and Sales Professionals we get so focused working in the daily/weekly/monthly routine of running a business, it’s easy to run out of time to plan for the future. It isn’t intentional….it’s just how the demands of business can push us around.

In a perfect world, it would be nice to set time aside every week/month/quarter, as the case may be, to take a step back and determine if you are missing an opportunity to make a more meaningful change to your business. Even a slight tweak to your game plan can make all the difference!

Here is a sad….but true story that we came across recently. A successful business owner (by definition, I define success in this case as, great cash flow, strong balance sheet and new business is steadily flowing in the front door…..a good thing….right?)

The owner was stretched for human resources and support and we were asked to put a proposal together to assist his company. (A few examples within the proposal included improving their systems and processes to make it more productive and efficient to operate the business and ultimately to enhance its overall value)

While the owner liked what he reviewed in the proposal, he sighed in exhaustion!!! “I don’t have time to do these changes, because I am way too busy right now.”

This was unfortunate, because we see a great business that can potentially go to the next level, more efficiently and effectively, yet there is no time!

Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” makes reference to “Sharpening the saw” within Habit #7.

The story goes something like this…..

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working very hard to saw down a tree. “What are you doing?” you ask.
“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”
“You look exhausted!” “How long have you been at it?”
“A very long time,” he responds, “and I’m exhausted! This is such hard work.”
“Well why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” “I’m sure it would be much more efficient.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says, with sweat dripping. “I’m too busy sawing!”

Sharpening the saw is about renewing yourself and the way in which you see and do things in business and in life.

Are you working IN your business, or ON your business?

At X5, we help owners work ON their business. “Helping you to the next level”


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